Linguistic division of states needs re-appraisal

– Ayush Nadimpalli

A Background :

On 17 June 1948, Rajendra Prasad, the President of the Constituent Assembly, set up the Linguistic Provinces Commission (aka Dar Commission) to recommend whether the states should be reorganized on linguistic basis or not. The committee included SK Dar (retired Judge of the Allahabad High Court), JN Lal and Panna Lall ( Indian Civil Service officer. In its 10 December 1948 report, the Commission recommended that

“the formation of provinces on exclusively or even mainly linguistic considerations is not in the larger interests of the Indian nation“. 

Soon after the report was published, the Congress, at its Jaipur session, set up the “JVP committee” to study the recommendations of the Dar Commission. The committee, comprised Nehru and Sardar Patel, in addition to the then Congress president Pattabhi Sitaramayya. In its report dated 1 April 1949, the Committee stated that the time was not suitable for formation of new provinces, but also stated “if public sentiment is insistent and overwhelming, we, as democrats, have to submit to it, but subject to certain limitations in regard to the good of India as a whole

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar submitted a Memorandum (dated 14 October 1948) to the Dar Commission, supporting the formation of linguistic provinces, specifically the formation of the Marathi majority Maharashtra state. To address the concern of national unity, he suggested that the official language of every province should be same as the official language of the Central Government.

Opposition to Linguistic Division : K.M.Munshi, a staunch nationalist and the founder of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan opposed the linguistic reorganization proposal, saying that “the political ambition of a linguistic group can only be satisfied by the exclusion and discrimination of other linguistic groups within the area. No safeguards and no fundamental rights can save them from the subtle psychological exclusion which linguism implies”.

The Congress Manual of Mis-handling :

The formation of any state is a very complex matter. Emotions and tempers run high especially when the issue is about division of states which were formed linguistically.

 The way the Congress has handled the state division of Andhra Pradesh is a manual of “How Not to Handle A State Division” . It has caused a great amount of bitterness in the people.

Basis of Re-organization :

The population of the country has grown 4 times since the time of Independence and it is natural that the local aspirations of people are growing. The government needs to re-look at various aspects of statehood demands. 

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh warned that the linguistic basis of division of states is laced with problems for the future. When the “Jai Andhra & Jai Telangana” movements were In their peak, Shri Guruji in this discussion with Pujya Swami Vishveshvar Teertha in 1973, clearly states what the basis of formation of states must be on the basis of administrative convenience and national security. He prophesised that the way the government was going about the issue, the formation of Telangana will happen but not after a great deal of struggle and bitterness among both sides. Guruji on Telangana- Full Text in Hindi & English

More recently in 2010, the RSS Sarsanghchalak, Mohan Bhagwat during his visit to Hyderabad also spoke on the demand for division of states. In the turmoil in which the people are in, it is important to heed the words of this statesman and align ourselves with the national goals. His full speech :

Excerpts : 

Leaders say that the country can be united only by emotional integration. But what is the basis of this emotion? This emotion cannot be achieved by language, there are more than 3800 dialects. This emotion can neither be achieved by caste or regionalism. It can be achieved only the basis of the Hindutva, the feeling that we are all Hindus.

There is a lot of politics that is being played around statehood. This is a simple issue which is being politicized. The size of a state must be determined on the following factors:

Ø      Administrative convenience,

Ø      Developmental convenience,

Ø      Aspirations of the people & peace

Ø      Security of the country

The size of the state can be big or small based on the above factors. But, politicians are playing with the lives of students on this. The state of Madhya Pradesh was carved into Chattisgarh & MP because they understood each others aspirations.

We must realize that Akhand Bharat from Himalayas to Sri Lanka, from Kabul to the east of Chindwin river must be realized and the demarcation of states is a matter subservient to that aspiration. Forget your division and work for the same.

We are the children of the same forefathers, we have the same Hindu heritage. Scientists have established that for the last 40,000 years the same DNA is prevalent among all people in the Indo- Iranian plateau. The difference of caste, state are superfluous before our bigger goal of seeing the glory of Bharat Mata & ensuring that Akhand Bharat is once again established. The country can be made great on the basis of our culture and that is what the basis of the greatness of our country will be. Live and Die for the country

References :

1.  Virendra Kumar (1976). Committees And Commissions In India Vol. 1 : 1947-54. Concept. pp. 70–71

2. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1948). Maharashtra as a linguistic province: statement submitted to the Linguistic Provinces Commission. Thacker.

3. Guruji Samagra in Hindi Vol 9, pg 256

1 thought on “Linguistic division of states needs re-appraisal

  1. Dwadasaksha

    All the concepts of modern Indian policy are based on how to counter problems, rather than on how to forge a good strong nation. Protect minorities, protect rights, protect exploited and so on. There has been no serious thought to what principle of organization brings about cohesion (not unity) at different levels and helps civilization develop. Linguistic or religious or any other aspect has the same problem. Those who are celebrated as ‘founding fathers’, gave us a copy-pasted and myopic constitution – the country is not even ready for a critical analysis six decades hence.


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